Your Amex Gold checklist: Here are 4 things to do when you first get the card

4d ago

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Editor’s note: This story has been updated with the latest information. For more on limited-time perks due to the pandemic, read our guide to temporary bonuses and benefits

Late in 2018, the American Express® Gold Card tweaked its benefits to become an extremely solid rewards card that deserves a spot in many wallets, including mine.

The card retained its annual up to $100 airline fee credit, doubled its earning rate at restaurants — and made it for dining worldwide — and U.S. supermarkets to an impressive 4x points (up to $25,000 per calendar year; then 1x for the latter) and introduced up to $120 in dining credits each calendar year — all with a snazzy metal design.

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(Photo by Eden Batki / The Points Guy)
(Photo by Eden Batki / The Points Guy)

The Amex Gold has a public welcome offer of 35,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months and an annual fee of $250 (see rates and fees). Based on TPG’s latest valuations, that bonus is worth $700.

However, there are also two targeted welcome offers — 60,000 or 75,000 points — after spending $4,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months of account opening through the CardMatch Tool (offer is subject to change at any time).

In This Post

Enroll in the $120 annual dining credit

People Dining at a Restaurant
(Photo by VGstockstudio/Shutterstock)

With the Amex Gold, you are eligible for up to $10 in monthly statement credits when you use card at participating dining partners.

These partners include: Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House and participating Shake Shack locations. This statement credit functions similarly to the Saks credit on the Platinum Card® from American Express in that it isn’t allotted all at once, but is $120 spread out across the year in monthly installments. You need to enroll your card for this perk on the Amex site under “benefits,” so do that as soon as you get your new card.

Related: How the Amex Gold pays for my lunch twice per month

Claim your annual $100 airline fee credit

One of the best perks of the Amex Gold is its annual up to $100 airline fee credit valid at one of nine different U.S. airlines.

Since you get this credit every calendar year, you can use it twice during your first year as a member, but you must first register for the airline of your choice. This credit gives you the potential for an up to $200 return in the first 365 days. The airline fee credit can be used toward airline lounge passes, checked bag fees and much more.

Related: Why Amex should make its airline credit as easy to use as Chase and Citi

(Photo by Darren Murph/The Points Guy)

Technically, you can’t purchase airline tickets or use the credit for gift cards or award taxes/fees; however, depending on how the airline codes your purchase, you may get reimbursed.

You can choose your airline while logged in to your Amex account under the “benefits” section as shown below. Note that while you’re technically limited to the airline you select for the entire calendar year, reports indicate that you might be able to change your selection by contacting customer service.

Screenshot courtesy of Amex

Add Amex Gold as payment with Seamless and Grubhub

If you use the food delivery services Seamless and Grubhub, be sure and set your payment card with them to the Amex Gold, not only to earn 4 points per dollar on dining but also to get the up to $10 per month statement credit at those eligible dining partners.

Closeup shot of a courier making a delivery to a customer (image by Getty Images / katleho Seisa)
Photo by Getty Images / katleho Seisa

Memorize the 4x bonus categories

The American Express Gold Card is sitting at the top of the pack for spending on both dining worldwide and at U.S. supermarkets.

The card earns 4 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on dining and on the first $25,000 spent per calendar year at US supermarkets (then 1x, terms apply). These 4x points per dollar equal to an 8% return on spending based on our current valuations.

The card also earns 3x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, which isn’t bad, but isn’t our all-time favorite card for booking air travel.

Bottom line

There aren’t as many tasks to complete when you get your Amex Gold as there are when you get an Amex Platinum, but there are still at least four things to do in order to reap the maximum rewards.

Additional reporting by Chris Dong 

For rates and fees of the Amex Gold Card, please click here.  

Featured photo by The Points Guy. 

American Express® Gold Card

With some great bonus categories, the American Express Gold Card has a lot going for it. The card offers 4x points at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar year; then 1x), and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
See Pay Over Time APR
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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